Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Subject "Habermas"
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CHANGING A SYSTEM FROM WITHIN: APPLYING THE THEORY OF COMMUNICATIVE ACTION FOR FUNDAMENTAL POLICY CHANGES IN KUWAITPolitical legitimacy is a fundamental problem in the modern state. According to Habermas (1973), current legitimation methods are losing the sufficiency needed to support political systems and decisions. In response, Habermas (1987) developed the theory of communicative action as a new method for establishing political legitimacy. The current study applies the communicative action theory to Kuwait’s current political transformation. This study addresses the nature of the foundation of Kuwait, the regional situation, the internal political context, and the current economic challenges. The specific political transformation examined in this study is a national development project known as Vision of 2035 supported by the Amir as the head of the state. The project aims to develop a third of Kuwait’s land and five islands as special economic zones (SEZ). The project requires new legislation that would fundamentally change the political and economic identity of the country. The study applies the communicative action theory in order to achieve a mutual understanding between different groups in Kuwait regarding the project’s features and the legislation required to achieve them.
PERFORMANCE EVALUATION, COMMUNICATION ENVIRONMENT, AND DECISION LEGITIMACY: A CASE IN CHINAQuestions regarding the concept of legitimacy are central to social and political science. Exploring how people justify legitimacy and why people grant legitimacy to leadership and collective decisions in groups, organizations, and nations is generally agreed to be essential to scholarship on legitimacy. One line of research finds contributing factors in bureaucratic effectiveness and efficiency that can provide substantive benefits to people. Another line of research expands legitimacy to procedural elements such as fairness of treatment or quality of communication (deliberation) in the decision making process. This dissertation intends to contribute to the research of legitimacy and hopes to further the understanding of communication's role in decision outcome legitimacy by incorporating two sets of contributing factors: Performance factors and communication factors. This will enable a side-by-side comparison of instrumentalist and communicative factors in predicting legitimation. In addition, the study will observe the quality of the communication environment as a contextual variable upon which the relationship between performance elements and decision outcome legitimacy depends. Specifically, how the communication environment moderates the strength of the relationship between output of public service in a certain domain and the perceived legitimacy of the decision made in the same domain will be observed. Drawing on the framework from Habermas's theory of communicative action and the public sphere, the literature on deliberative democracy, and organizational studies, the project intends to observe how the communication environment or speech conditions (in Habermasian terms) may affect the legitimacy of a decision outcome, and at the same time may influence the relationship between the perceived performance in a certain public service sector and the perceived legitimacy of a decision outcome in the same sector. Using a sample of 255 adult residents in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province in southwest China, the study found that perceived government performance and perceived speech conditions were both positively related to perceived legitimacy of government decision; furthermore, perceived speech conditions moderated the relationship between the performance evaluation and legitimacy perception. These findings suggest some important insights into the role of communication in political legitimation and the evolving communication expectations in China.
Public Art: A Critical ApproachIn this dissertation, I provide a philosophical analysis of public art. I focus on its "publicness," and draw implications at the level of public art's ontology, appreciation, and value. I uphold the view that an artwork is public when received within a public sphere rather than within artworld institutions. I further argue that, as a consequence of the peculiar nature of its reception, public art possesses an essential value that is distinctively non-aesthetic: to promote political participation and to encourage tolerance. By examining how public art and its value(s) relate to the public domain in the context of pluralistic democracies, this dissertation also contributes to a fuller understanding of an important aspect of our social world. Chapter 1 introduces the scope and nature of the dissertation and emphasizes few important caveats. Chapter 2 develops a general characterization of public art's "publicness." It argues that what makes an artwork public is the context within which it is received: public artworks are received within a public sphere, that is, the public-art sphere, rather than within artworld institutions. Chapter 3 expands the account of the public-art sphere as developed in Chapter 2, and argues that public artworks address a multiplicity of publics and are received within a multiplicity of public-art spheres. Chapter 4 offers a sustained account of the pluralistic logic by means of which participants evaluate opinions expressed in discussions within public-art sphere. Chapter 5 explores the role that emotional reactions play in public-art spheres. It argues that warranted emotional reactions can function as premises of arguments proposed in public-art spheres. Chapter 6 discusses the ontology of public artworks. It suggests that some of the real properties that a public artwork has are a function of some features of the public-art sphere within which that artwork is received. Chapter 7 explains the value of public art. It holds that public art's value is a function of its capacity to promote political participation and to encourage tolerance.